Improved healing rates for chronic venous leg ulcers: Pilot study results from a randomized controlled trial of a community nursing intervention
Edwards, Helen E., Courtney, Mary D., Finlayson, Kathleen J., Lewis, Caroline, Lindsay, Ellie, & Dumble, Jean (2005) Improved healing rates for chronic venous leg ulcers: Pilot study results from a randomized controlled trial of a community nursing intervention. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 11(4), 169 -176.
Venous leg ulcers are a frequent source of chronic ill-health and a considerable cost to health-care systems. This paper reports pilot study results from a randomized controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of a community-based ‘Leg Club’ environment on improving healing rates of venous leg ulcers. Leg Clubs offer a setting where people with similar problems can socialize in a supportive, information-sharing environment. A sample of 33 clients with a below-knee venous leg ulcer were randomized to treatment, either in their own homes or in a community Leg Club. Treatment was provided to all participants, whether in the control group or intervention group, by a team of trained wound-care nurses following evidence-based assessment and treatment guidelines. Data were collected on admission to the study and at 12 weeks from admission. Results showed a significant improvement in healing in the intervention group compared to the control group, as measured by ulcer area size and Pressure Ulcer Scale for Healing scores. These results suggest that a community Leg Club environment provides benefits additional to wound care expertise and evidence-based care. Knowledge gained from this study provides evidence to guide service delivery and improve client outcomes.
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